For many spectators around the globe, the 2017 French presidential elections could be France's "Brexit" or "Trump." Many people, from political experts, to artists, to celebrities and TV personalities, have stated that everyone, not just the French, should be concerned with this election. Last Sunday, John Oliver spent 18 minutes explaining exactly why the elections are so important, citing that presidential candidate Marine Le Pen and her right wing, nationalist party The National Front could be dangerous not only for the French, but for the global community. Le Pen and her party are known for their strong anti-immigrant stance and advocate for leaving the European Union, as well language that has been categorized as hateful.
The French elections work in two rounds. Today, there will be a vote between all candidates, five of which have strong chances of making it to the second round. The second and final round, which will be on May 7th, 2017, will be between the two candidates with the most votes from the first round.
Many political analysts say that the ramifications for the global economy as well as policy on immigration could be drastically affected by the French elections. Today as the French people casts their votes, you can follow along as the results come in at CNN, The New York Times, and The BBC.
Update at 8:02 p.m. on 4/23: Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron will advance to the next and final round of the French presidential elections. Macron is a former investment banker, and has a mixture of views from the left and right, and no formal political party alignment. Le Pen is the candidate for the Nationalist Front. As the two candidates go face to face in the coming weeks before the May 7th elections, conversations about the future of France and the European Union continue.